The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenceman Alex Edler to a two-year contract extension worth $6 million a season.
Edler was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s spent all 13 seasons of his NHL career with the Canucks and is their leading defenceman in terms of scoring, with 368 points in 814 regular season games.
“Alex is important to our team and has played as the cornerstone of our defence throughout his career,” said general manager Jim Benning. “He’s a leader with tremendous experience, plays important minutes and contributes to every part of our team game. We’re very pleased for Alex and his family that he’ll continue his career as a Vancouver Canuck.”
Edler, selected to the All-Star team in 2012, also has 31 points in 65 playoff games and has represented Sweden numerous times in international play.
“I’ve said from the beginning that if a deal was there with Vancouver, that was my number one priority,” Edler said. “You never know what’s out there in free agency so I didn’t think too much about that.”
In getting Edler signed to this contract, Benning’s done a few things to help the Canucks in the immediate future.
For one, the term is nice. Rumours were suggesting that Edler was looking for a longer term deal, with some floating the idea of a four-year contract to theoretically stick the defenceman in Vancouver until retirement.
But this two-year deal not only contends with that issue, it keeps things small enough to handle if Edler’s play drops off significantly and he has to find greener pastures in which to retire.
And the money’s good. It’s plausible that a player of Edler’s dimensions could’ve fished out more on the open market had he tested it, particularly considering the appraisal of mobile defencemen in today’s rush-heavy NHL. With more teams looking to fuel their attacks from the defensive zone, his point shot comes in handy and his capacity to compose himself on the power play is an asset.
Vancouver also still has plenty of room under the cap, with perhaps the only inconvenient contract lingering in the form of Loui Eriksson. There’s a small stack of RFAs, including Brock Boeser, but the Canucks should have the money to fend off any bothersome offer sheets should the situation arise.
(Lead photo credit: Vancouver Canucks/Twitter)